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McConnell excoriates Democrats over stimulus demands

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Trump blasts Obama speech for Biden as 'fake' after Obama hits Trump's tax payments White House hoping for COVID-19 relief deal 'within weeks': spokeswoman MORE (R-Ky.) tore into Democrats Monday morning for their latest stimulus demands as more than three days of negotiations have failed to yield a deal.

McConnell ticked off the items on what he called the “Democratic wish list,” citing tax deductions to solar and wind energy companies, workplace provisions sought by organized labor and new emissions standards for the airlines.

“Are you kidding me?” McConnell asked on the floor.

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“This is the moment to debate new regulations that have nothing whatsoever to do with this crisis? That’s what they’re up to over there,” he said, motioning across the aisle.

“Democrats won’t let us fund hospitals or save small businesses unless they get to dust off the 'Green New Deal,'” he said, referring to a sweeping liberal proposal to address global climate change. 

The Senate was in all weekend working on a huge stimulus bill to respond to the hit the economy is taking from the coronavirus pandemic. The weekend talks did not result in a deal, and McConnell has sought to use falling markets on Monday morning to raise pressure on the Democrats.

McConnell warned Democrats are playing with fire by dragging out the talks, pointing to the morning’s drop in the stock markets, which have wiped out gains made since President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska NYT: Trump had 7 million in debt mostly tied to Chicago project forgiven MORE won the 2016 election.

“I hear the markets are not doing well today. They’d like to ask the question of us, why not move? Why are Democrats filibustering the bipartisan bill they helped write?” the GOP leader said.

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McConnell scheduled another vote at 1:30 p.m. Monday to proceed to the stimulus package.

Speaking right after McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHouse Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Graham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Lewandowski: Trump 'wants to see every Republican reelected regardless of ... if they break with the president' MORE (D-N.Y.) accused the GOP leader of giving a partisan screed and predicted a deal could yet be reached on Monday. 

Schumer, who resumed meetings with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Trump says stimulus deal will happen after election | Holiday spending estimates lowest in four years | Domestic workers saw jobs, hours plummet due to COVID Trump says stimulus deal will happen after election White House hoping for COVID-19 relief deal 'within weeks': spokeswoman MORE at 9 a.m., said the talks are “very close” to a deal. 

McConnell's criticism has put Democrats on the defensive. 

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Democrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation Democrats brace for nail-biting finish to Senate battle MORE (D-Conn.) tweeted Monday morning that Democrats are only trying to take a few extra hours to improve the package. 

"This is a $2T ($2 trillion!) and the draft that Republicans wrote doesn't fix the problem. Spending 18 extra hours to get $2T right is worth it," he tweeted. 

McConnell slammed Democrats for blocking funding for hospitals and medical supplies, which was included in a $1.8 trillion bill that failed to advance on a 47-47 procedural vote Sunday.

“I’d like to see Senate Democrats tell small business employees in their states who are literally being laid off every day that they’re filibustering relief that will keep people on the payroll because Democrats’ special interest friends want to squeeze employers while they’re vulnerable,” he said, referring to labor and environmental activists.

Schumer hurried to the floor to respond to the attack.

“I’m in my office with the president’s secretary of the Treasury, the president’s liaison, getting things done,” he said, criticizing McConnell for setting up procedural votes that he said were distracting from the talks.

After three days of intense negotiations without an agreement, tempers have started to fray.

“The country is burning, and your side wants to play political games. It’s time to get this done,” fumed Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneEnsuring more Americans have access to 5G technology Pence won't preside over Barrett's final confirmation vote Gaffes put spotlight on Meadows at tough time for Trump MORE (R-S.D.), a normally affable lawmaker.

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When Schumer objected to Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - One week out, where the Trump, Biden race stands The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Justice Barrett joins court; one week until Election Day House Judiciary Republicans mockingly tweet 'Happy Birthday' to Hillary Clinton after Barrett confirmation MORE’s (R) request to speak after his sharp exchange with McConnell, the Maine senator exploded with frustration.

“Unbelievable. The Democratic leader objected to my even being able to speak this morning. Is that what we’ve come to?” she said.

Updated at 1:06 p.m.